Pass ENDA Now!

18 11 2009

From the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund:

In the coming weeks, the fate of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will be decided. The bill should be moving in the House shortly after Thanksgiving, but it’s critical that our elected officials hear from us TODAY to ensure that all LGBT people are protected from workplace discrimination once and for all.

The right wing is fighting hard against the passage of ENDA. We must drown them out. Can you make a short phone call today to your legislators as part of National Call-In Days for Equality to pass ENDA? Even if you’ve called before, making another short call today will help keep the pressure on and ensure that our elected officials hear loud and clear from people who support equality.

We’ve made it easy — just follow these three steps:

1) Call the Capital Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your representative. (If you’re not sure who your representative is, simply give the operator your zip code and they will connect you.)

2) Follow this script:

My name is _____ and I’m a proud resident of (your city, state). I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. People should not have to fear losing their job simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Please pass ENDA before the end of the year. Thank you for your time.

3) Go back to step 1 and call at least one of your senators — we need to make our voice for equality as loud as possible.

It’s that simple! Your phone calls will really make a huge difference. Even if you think your representative is supportive, it’s still important to call.

Thanks for taking the time to make these important calls. We’ll keep you updated on ENDA’s progress in the coming weeks.


Transgender Autobiography I

1 11 2009

Writing our own stories in the form of autobiography is one way we can relate our experience to others, feel more secure in our own personal history (by tying it together in narrative), and document our place in history. I have a lot to say about this topic and will write more. But first, a friend at PFLAG forwarded this information to me:

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Transgender and Transsexual Autobiography

For the last 75 years, transgender and  Transsexual Autobiographies have told the stories of their authors’ lives and appealed for greater acceptance of transgender people. Autobiography remains one of the most important genres of transgender literary expression.

Kate Bornstein (b. 1948) is one of the best known transgender activists in America. Her book “Gender Outlaw” (1994), which is part autobiography, part manifesto, and part fashion guide, contributed to the political mobilization of transsexuals.

Roberta Close (b. 1964), a Brazilian model and entertainer, was proclaimed “The World’s Most Beautiful Model” in a 1984 tabloid headline. Her autobiography, “Much Pleasure, Roberta Close” (1998), raised eyebrows because of her claim to have been involved with many internationally famous male celebrities.

Michael Dillon (1915-1962) was the first person to transition both hormonally and surgically from female to male. Dillon’s unpublished autobiography was rediscovered by English journalist Liz Hodgkinson and served as an important source for her book “Michael Née Laura” (1989) and a more recent biography by Pagan Kennedy entitled “The First Man-Made Man” (2007).

Lili Elbe (1886-1931) was among the world’s first post-operative male-to-female transsexuals. Her letters and diaries were compiled into “Man Into Woman” (1933), one of the first popular books to draw a distinction between homosexuality and transsexuality.

Leslie Feinberg (b. 1949) is a pioneering transgender activist, historian, and writer. The main character of Feinberg’s novel “Stone Butch Blues” (1993) shares so many similarities with the book’s author that many consider it semi-autobiographical.

Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989) was the first person to undergo a a sex-change operation that was highly publicized in the United States. Her book “Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography” (1967) was adapted for a film released in 1970.

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (1928-2002) was an East German preservationist and museum founder. Her autobiography, “I Am My Own Wife” (1992), tells the story of her own life as well as that of a whole generation of East German homosexuals who faced persecution first from the Nazis and then from the Communists.

Jan Morris (b. 1926), a prolific Anglo-Welsh journalist, historian, and travel writer, was among the first transsexuals to tell her story publicly in a memoir. She dedicated “Conundrum” (1974) “to all who are suffering still in the same solitary and unsought cause.”

Renee Richards (b. 1934), a transsexual tennis player, successfully sued the United States Tennis Association so that she could compete in the U.S. Women’s Open. Her autobiography, “Second Serve” (1986), reveals the details of her troubled childhood as well as her adult successes in tennis and as an eye surgeon.


QUIZ: Transgender Autobiography

Test your knowledge of Transgender Autobiography:

VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY FOR THESE BOOKS! IF THEY DON’T HAVE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR, MAKE A BIG STINK (or a small stink). But really–support your local libraries. How else will shy kids in the closet learn about gay stuff?

please support One Kalamazoo

8 10 2009

if you are able, please support One Kalamazoo‘s work by sending a financial contribution here. One Kalamazoo is working to counteract an appallingly transphobic campaign to get the people to vote AGAINST a non-discrimination bill that protects transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment (we need this!). this is an example of one campaign flyer. if this doesn’t make you want to raise hell, at least consider sending a few bucks so One Kalamazoo can pay a staff member for one month of tough work. the thing is, kalamazoo’s elected officials have already voted twice in favor of a non-discrimination bill. so why use misinformation, scare tactics, and outright terrible fucking bullshit to get voters to keep folks down, closeted, and fearful. also, check out trystan’s fundraising video.

he’s great and so is this cause.


29 09 2009

tonight i updated various pages, especially why this blog? why me? and conferences 2009-2010. fidgeting around with the other pages and links…

feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or to tell me a link doesn’t work.

gender identity (disorder)

22 06 2009

i received an enewsletter from pflag which mentioned last months apa conference in san francisco. i’ve been hearing a lot about the argument to remove gender identity disorder (gid) from the diagnostic and statistical manual (dsm) of diseases and disorders.
here’s a link to an article about the conference.
i attended the transgender health conference in philly two years ago when pauline park was the keynote speaker and i remember that her speech really called me to action about health care and the gid diagnosis.
there are a lot of things wrong with health care in general and there’s a great need for affordable and comprehensive health care for LGBT folks too. but one thing specific to transgender people (if they are seeking physical transition or if they just want psychiatric help in negotiating a really tough space) is the diagnosis of gender identity disorder. [not to mention the vast number of gay folks and differently-gendered folks who have been stigmatized for their gender expression under this diagnosis…]

i don’t think gid should be used as a means of punishment for queer folks. i don’t think being transgender or questioning one’s gender warrants having a disorder. i do think there should be standards for people who wish to transition and i think health professionals should live up to those standards. i do think there are negative psychological symptoms of being a queer or trans person in this world. these symptoms may manifest as anxiety, depression, addiction, etc. these symptoms are possible to treat. sometimes what helps is transition itself. i think we need to see transgender as a valid way of being. i believe it is possible to be transgender and happy.

i’d like to include a longer quote from pauline park borrowed from an interview she did with

Gender identity disorder was introduced into the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1974. At the same time the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the DSM, removed homosexuality. This is not a coincidence.

Gender identity disorder, sometimes called gender dysphoria, is a psychiatric diagnosis which suggests that all transgendered people are mentally ill. As I like to say, I don’t have a gender identity disorder; I think society has a gender identity disorder.

So, my work is informed by a different conception of sex and gender than the one that currently governs society. I think we need to see that transgender is simply a natural variance in gender identity and expression.

I see my work not as being about helping a small number of post-op transsexuals fit more comfortably in existing boxes, but rather, helping all of us break out of these boxes so we can all live lives free of discrimination and violence related to gender identity and expression.

LGBT Equality and Justice Day APRIL 28

9 03 2009

Got an email from TLDEF today about this event in ALBANY, NY.

On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, join hundreds of New Yorkers who will be traveling to Albany to help win transgender non-discrimination protections, safe schools for LGBT youth, marriage equality and more funding for our community’s health and human services needs.

TLDEF will be co-sponsoring this event with the Empire State Pride Agenda

Register now if you want to go!